Happy New Year!
In recent years, there have been a lot of skeptics out there saying that New Year’s resolutions don’t matter– January 1st is “an arbitrary day,” after all, to start something. (As a self-identifying skeptic, I can confirm the existence of this point of view.) But after reading David Epstein’s latest edition of his e-newsletter “Why New Year’s Resolutions Actually Work Astoundingly Well,” I’ve been convinced otherwise: Citing studies and experts, Epstein writes, “Rather than perceiving our lives as a continuous river of time, we construct our inner autobiographies more like a staircase, punctuated by important dates, dramatic events, and first experiences… New chapters — even minor ones [like a new calendar year!] — can be leveraged to improve our behaviors.” Indeed, when you consider the fact that a reported 20% of people actually keep their New Year’s resolutions, I’d wager that’s a pretty high success rate of making life changes over any other day of the year.
So, this is a few days late at this point, but I’m hoping we (you and I, dear reader) can still use some of the momentum of the New Year to set some climate action goals for 2022. I’ve done some thinking and researching about what I might want to accomplish and how to do so, and I’ll share those thoughts below, but I mostly hope that this is just a jumping off point for you to make your own list of achievable and meaningful goals!
2022 Climate Action New Year’s Resolution Ideas:
- Write an op-ed or a letter to the editor about climate-change-related issue in your community
- Letters to the Editor: How to Write Them and Why They Work – ACLU
- How To Write Effective Letters to the Editor – Citizens Climate Lobby
- Plus, many smaller, more local climate action organizations have their own guide to writing LTEs or op-eds, so take a look on their website if you’re looking for specific advice
- Participate in a phone bank
- Calls for Climate: National Virtual Phone Bank – EDF Action
- Attend a protest/march
- AND bring a friend!
- Make taking action a habit. We’ve got a couple of orgs that would love to help you out with that:
- Have a conversation about climate change at least once a week
- Your talk could be short or long, with a friend or with a stranger. Talking about climate change isn’t always a light topic, but as I mentioned in an earlier post, it’s so, so important.
- Read some climate-related (or at least climate-adjacent) books
- I’ve got Yellow Bird by Sierra Crane Murdoch, Saving Us by Katharine Hayhoe, Bewilderment by Richard Powers, and The Ministry for the Future by Kim Stanley Robinson on my list.
- Last but not least, stay hopeful!